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Tuesday, 22 February, 2000, 16:59 GMT
Radio star Whale recovering

Radio presenter and former TV host James Whale is recovering in hospital after undergoing major surgery for a cancerous kidney tumour.

Whale, 48, famous for his sharp tongue and impatient telephone manner, had the affected organ removed in an operation at a London hospital.

A spokeswoman for the commercial station talkSPORT, where Whale hosts a nightly show, confirmed that the operation had been successful.

"This is tremendous news. We wish James a very speedy recovery and look forward to his return to the station."

She added that Whale hopes to be back at work in six to eight weeks. In his absence, The James Whale Show is being presented by Mike Dickin.




Letterman makes his comeback

Talk show host David Letterman made an emotional return to his hit TV show just five weeks after undergoing heart surgery.

The 52-year-old star of the Late Show fought back tears as he invited medical staff on stage and introduced them as "the men and women who saved my life".

But he was also full of jokes about the experience - saying he had a quintuple, rather than a double bypass because the hospital had a special deal on it.

He also joked that he had new-found respect for President Bill Clinton, whose wife was one of Letterman's last Late Show guests before his surgery.

"I spent a half hour with Hillary and look what happened to me," he said.

Letterman's guests on Monday's show included Robin Williams, who appeared in surgical gear, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire's American host Regis Philbin.




Gallagher slams 'fat' Robbie Williams

Noel Gallagher has dismissed pop rival Robbie Williams as just a "fat dancer" who should have "stuck to dancing".

The 32-year-old Oasis star told Heat magazine that he and Robbie could never be friends "because he was in Take That".

Noel also revealed that the latest Oasis album Standing on the Shoulder of Giants was recorded while they were all sober - a first for the band.

The star recently became a father after his wife Meg Mathews gave birth to a baby girl, Anais, in January.




The Seekers' final tour to be in the UK

Legendary 1960s group The Seekers have announced that their last ever tour will take place in the UK in May.

The Australian band - whose line-up has not changed in their 36-year history - have sold 50 million records worldwide.

Their two UK Number Ones were I'll Never Find Another You and The Carnival Is Over.

The tour will begin on 29 May in Edinburgh and end in Dublin on 8 June.




Village scares off Blair Witch makers

The producers behind The Blair Witch Project have been forced to find a new location for two sequels after locals refused them permission to film.

Villagers of Burkittsville, Maryland, were so fed-up with the tourists the horror movie has attracted, they jeered the producers during a town meeting.

Now the film-makers, who have halted shooting until next month, are looking for a similar village in the same area that will be more hospitable to them.




Stallone deal with Universal 'scrapped'

Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone's $60m three-picture deal with Universal Pictures, has been scrapped, according to reports.

US trade paper Variety says the studio and the actor signed the deal, said to guarantee Stallone $20m a film, in 1995.

Universal now says the agreement was a "first-look deal", with Stallone only receiving payment if Universal decided to make the movies.

The only film made under the deal so far is D-Tox, which has no release date




Director Stone chops gridiron film

Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone reportedly has cut 12 minutes from his new American football film, Any Given Sunday, to help European audiences understand it.

The movie, which stars Cameron Diaz and Al Pacino, now runs at two-and-a-half hours.

The original, longer version has already grossed 50m in the States.

Stone, who directed the controversial movies Natural Born Killers and JFK, says the cuts have "enhanced the speed and hardened the clarity of the film".




Gregory Peck bows out

Veteran movie star Gregory Peck has announced he is to quit acting at the age of 83.

He closed his career with a performance of his one-man show about his life - A Conversation with Mr. Gregory Peck - at the historic Elsinore theatre in the town of Salem in Oregon.

"This is the end of my first farewell tour," Peck said when he announced he was finished with major roles, but he joked, "I'm available for a smashing cameo."

Peck has been putting on the show about his life for five years, blending anecdotes from his 52-year film career with film clips and readings.

The actor is best known for his Oscar-winning role as Atticus Finch in the 1962 movie To Kill a Mockingbird. His other successes include Moby Dick (1956), Roman Holiday (1953), Cape Fear (1962 and 1991) and The Guns of Navarone (1961).

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See also:
15 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Letterman talks again
14 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Oasis confirm festival dates
05 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
Blair Witch to scare again
25 Aug 99 |  Entertainment
Stone agrees to drug treatment

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